food


Birth Of Rice-A-Roni: The Armenian-Italian Treat : NPR

I’m a child of the 1960s and I remember Rice-A-Roni TV ads so well. Although very salty (as most packaged products are) I love this stuff – more than Kraft Mac-n-Cheese.

The podcast/article talks about the origins of the product from an Armenian grandmother and how it came to be a packaged product.

Definitely worth the read if you are into pop culture or are a foodie.

Oh yes – what I didn’t know was the connection between the theme song and Barney Google.

Read on.

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Development puts squeeze on Orleans House – – The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper

This isn’t some great gourmet find but Tom Sarris’s Orleans House has a 43-year history at it’s current location. It has a massive salad bar and serves the best Prime Rib for the money in this area. I came here often with my parents when they visited me. It has some of the most garish interiors but the food has always been good – the Prime Rib great.

What kills me is that they will erect another ugly high-rise building on this spot. Right, we really need another one of those.

Sigh.

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Cupboards Are Bare at Food Banks – washingtonpost.com

The Capital Area Food Bank, the region’s primary distribution center, reported that it had about 230,000 pounds of goods on its shelves this week, down from 570,000 pounds at this time last year, officials said.

The short supplies, which are hitting food banks and soup kitchens across the nation, stem from a combination of factors: Federal supplies of excess farm goods have dropped, in part because of the summer drought and because farmers are selling more of their products internationally. Donations from grocery stores, a major source for food banks, have fallen as supermarket chains consolidate, increase efficiency and tighten inventory controls.

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America’s Second Harvest, the country’s leading hunger-relief charity, is projecting a shortage of 15 million pounds of food this year at its more than 200 network food banks. That would be enough food to serve 11.7 million meals or fill 400 trucks.

At food banks from Maine to Florida to California, “demand is up, and food is flying out the door faster than ever,” spokesman Ross Fraser said.

“Our inventories are as depleted as they’ve ever been before,” Fraser said. “Our food banks keep calling here saying, ‘My God, you’ve got to help us. We desperately need help.’ “

The above text are just excerpts from the linked article. During this time of holiday giving, please help your local food bank if you can. I donate to America’s Second Harvest – they are a great group.

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NPR : The Birth of the Frito

This spot is part of the Hidden Kitchens series on NPR.

C.E. Doolin had big plans for this chip. He opened a Casa de Frito restaurant in Disneyland in 1955, and another one in Dallas. The restaurants were a sort of precursor to fast food, a hybrid between hamburgers and Mexican food.

When he invented the Frito, C.E. Doolin imagined them as a side dish, a handful to be served with soup and salad to complement a meal. He never imagined anyone would consume an entire king-size bag. He rarely ate them.

The broadcast is mostly an interview with Kaleta Doolin (C.E. Doolin’s daughter) and her husband. Recipes are included at the bottom of the page.

I must admit I’m not a big Frito fan (I prefer pretzels) but I love this kind of story – products invented by a person not a corporation.

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NPR : Cheesemakers Taste a Change in the Weather

Yes, I know, another NPR story. But it’s a good one. As the climate changes, the cheesemakers are finding changes in the cheese.

In a remote alpine village 3,000 miles away, French cheesemaker Alex Pelletier sighs.

“Yeah, global warming is really depressing. Everybody’s talking about it,” says Pelletier, who, like the Putnams [in Vermont], makes Beaufort cheese. Pelletier’s worry is the unprecedented heat in the French Alps, which is making cows thirstier. Drinking more water, says Pelletier, dilutes the proteins and fats in the cows’ milk. And that costs the cheesemakers, who must use more milk to create the same amount of cheese.

Read the text and enjoy the pictures but the podcast has even more info.

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Tens of thousand revelers paint Spanish town red in giant tomato fight – International Herald Tribune

BUNOL, Spain:
Tens of thousands of warriors-for-a-day hurled tons of ripe tomatoes at each other Wednesday in an annual food fight that transforms this Spanish town into a sea of red mush.

At precisely 11:00 am (0900 GMT), on the cue of a rocket fired from town hall, municipal trucks hauled 117 tons of plum tomatoes into the main square of Bunol and dumped them, setting the stage for exactly one hour of good-natured warfare.

I love it – a tomato free-for-all! Please follow the link to read more about it.

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Intercourse, Pennsylvania – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We stayed in Intercourse, PA and drove all around the immediate area. We took a buggy ride hosted by an Old Order Amish farmer named Lloyd. He gave us the lowdown on who owned property, how good their property was and how many tragedies occurred there. Lloyd had a taste for the tragic – fire, accidents and death. Who knew!

Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse PA Buggy before ride

The town is very lovely albeit it very touristy. I suspect you can overdose on cutesy very quickly. However, my weakness was the food – pretzels especially. We toured the Intercourse Pretzel Factory and I was trained to form a pretzel. I couldn’t leave without buying at least one bag – well, make that 4.

We stayed at a charming bed and breakfast – Carriage Corner Bed & Breakfast. The host was very amiable and the breakfast delicious!

The best part was just driving through the back roads. I haven’t seen so much farmland and corn in years. Fortunately, the Amish don’t sell their corn for fuel. They use it for food, seed and feed only.

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